In Sunday's sermon we considered what it meant for us to use the season of Advent as a time of spiritual reflection and preparation for Christmas; to find ways to reflect upon the miracle of incarnation - God With Us. As we moved between the two worship spaces and the three different worship services on Sunday, Daryl and I enjoyed the ways in which Community makes space for the incarnation - in creative ways and ways that are participatory in nature. The sanctuary features a beautiful nativity right in the narthex, includes the addition of a nativity piece along with the lighting of the Advent wreath and handmade Chrismons on the trees up front. Even Daryl and I were decked out in our best Advent attire with these great purple stoles.
The Family Life Center changed the pallet background into Christmas tree silhouettes and features a wonderfully eclectic Lantern Ladder for lighting the Advent candles each week.
We are officially four days into the season of Advent now. And I reminded of an email I received from a dear clergy colleague several years ago in the middle of December. Her words were profound and I have held onto them: "Hope your Advent is going well, not too busy, with moments of meaningfulness."
Moments of meaningfulness. That's exactly what we talked about on Sunday in worship about Advent - finding ways to slow down and enjoy the season while reflecting upon and considering Christ in the midst of our busy cultural celebrations of Christmas. How are you doing with finding space and time to prepare yourselves and to celebrate the incarnation this year? Have there been any moments of meaningfulness?
Lord of time and hope, we rush headlong into the holidays to come. We look at our calendars and wonder how we will get everything accomplished in the time allotted before the “Big Day” arrives. But you bring hope to us, as you always have through the voices of the great prophets and through Jesus. Remind us again about what the season is truly about….love, hope, peace and joy. Calm us down. Slow us down. Help us remember that it is in loving relationship that you gave your Son to us and it is in loving relationship that your Word is carried into the hearts of people. No tinsel, ribbons, tape, or card can convey the eternal message adequately. You have given us the Light to shine in our path and cut through our darkness. Shine in the hearts of your people today. Bless those dear ones who we have named before you today with your healing, reconciling, comforting presence and love. Give strength to all who face difficult situtions and let your compassionate light shine on them guiding their decisions and steps. Bring us at last to your presence where the light of hope and love continually pour out on us. This we offer in the name of Emmanuel who you gave to us and who gave himself for us. Amen.